What They Will Remember - Snack Size Fiction

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What They Will Remember

In the corner of a small house, nestled in the corner of a small big city, into two beds pushed into each corner of the room, a grandmother tucks two children under their covers.

In the corner of a small house, nestled in the corner of a small big city, into two beds pushed into each corner of the room, a grandmother tucks two children under their covers. 

She smiles at them, giving them each the same number of kisses, and if she gives one an extra hug she goes back and gives one more to the other. They delight in this, this even split of her attention, and as they fall asleep, they know they are safe and loved.  

The grandmother tiptoes to the door, but before she can exit, she hears a small voice. 

“Grandma?” It’s the girl. 

“Yes, little one?” 

“What would you say to God if you met him?”

The question is delivered with the confidence of a child whose careening train of thought has led them to a moment where their inquiry seems both logical and urgent, but it still catches her off guard. She doesn’t let her surprise show, though. She’s perfected that over the years; the art of never letting the children think they’ve asked or done something wrong. 

“Well, hmmm…” she says, pretending to give it serious thought, “I’d probably ask him why little children get so inquisitive just when they’re supposed to be asleep.”

The girl giggles and the grandmother winks, offering one last good night before she steps into the hall and pulls the door softly shut behind her. 

In the hall, though, her smile fades and she sighs deeply, the answer to the child’s question already bubbling to the surface. 

She makes her way down the hall to her own bedroom, closes the door, and kneels beside the bed as she does every night. She’s never entirely sure who she’s talking to, but she’s confident enough that someone is listening. 

She folds her hands and lifts her gaze upward, beyond the ceiling, toward whoever might be able to calm the turbulent seas of doubt that often arise in her mind and heart. 

“Please,” she whispers into the heavens, “Please help me. I am so worried about these children I have been asked to care for. They’ve had it so hard and been through so much. Have I given them enough?”

Through the silence of her bedroom, whether it’s echoing from her heart, the coming evening, or from heaven above she can’t be sure, but she hears, and feels a response. 

“My Dear Sandy, it’s not about what they’ve been through, but what they’ve been given. It’s not about what they’re missing…it’s about what they will remember. 

And thanks to you, these children will remember…

Endless evenings of comfort, cuddles, fellowship, and love. 

What it’s like to greet each day with a light and joyful heart. 

A home filled with laughter and warmth; a safe haven from the complicated world of adults.”

The grandmother sighs as visions of her life with the children dance through her head. She is still uneasy. 

“But they have lost so much,” she whispers into the night.

“Yes, and they will lose more. But you will be there to get them through it.

You will be there to show them what strength and perseverance look like. You have taught, and will continue to teach them what it looks like to keep love in your heart even in the darkest of times.

You raised them as your own without any hesitation. 

The kindness and selflessness you showed as they watched you care for so many others, both blood and beyond will stay with them forever.”

“But do I have the strength to not only keep them safe but give them the childhood they deserve?”

“You do, and you will.

You will create magic in their hearts that will remain as they grow. 

You will be their constant in times of uncertainty and as the world changes around them, and they with it, you will hold as steady as a tree, sheltering them, protecting them, and preparing them to face the world and all its challenges.”

As she sees her life with her children unfold, the grandmother smiles, confident in her choice to let them into her heart and her world. But one question still remains. One question she is almost afraid to ask. 

“But…will they be ok?”

“They will. Because it’s not about what you didn’t do, but what they’ve been given.

It’s not about what you think you’re lacking, it’s about what they will remember…

And Sandy, these children will remember you.”

This story was commissioned from a granddaughter to a grandmother. Want a story like this written for someone special in your life? Get your custom story started here. Order by November 30th to get your book time for Christmas!

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Allison Spooner

Allison Spooner brings worlds, characters, and stories to life in as few words as possible. In the last two years, she's published two books of short fiction; Flash in the Dark: A Collection of Flash Fiction and The Problem With Humans: And Other Stories. Allison’s writing crosses genres and has been compared to The Twilight Zone and Harlon Ellison.

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